Ellsworth Library participating in “The Great American Read”

ELLSWORTH — The Ellsworth Public Library will receive a grant from the American Library Association and PBS to host programs around “The Great American Read,” an eight-part television series and multi-platform initiative that celebrates the joy of reading and books.

“We are thrilled to be selected for this grant to celebrate and promote the ‘Great American Read’,” said Library Director Amy Wisehart. “Cultivating a love of reading is central to the mission of the Ellsworth Public Library, and we are excited to engage the community through the many programs we are planning.”

More than 220 public libraries applied for the $2,000 grants, which will support public programs around the series. The Ellsworth Public Library was one of just 50 libraries nationwide to be selected and the only library in Maine to receive the grant.

The library’s programming for “The Great American Read” will kick off at 7 p.m. on May 21 at The Grand with an exclusive screening of the series premiere.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public. Other events will include an author visit, a panel discussion and a book giveaway to kick off summer reading.

During the summer and fall, people will be invited to vote for their favorite book from the list to determine Ellsworth’s pick for The Great American Read.

For more information about this and other events, visit www.ellsworth.lib.me.us.

This fall, the library will also host “sneak peek” screenings of the five theme episodes in the series before they are broadcast to the public.

In addition to the grant money, the Ellsworth Public Library will receive a DVD collection of the series with public performance rights; a hardcover copy of the companion book, “The Great American Read: The Book of Books” by PBS (Black Dog & Leventhal, Aug. 21, 2018); and other resources.

Premiering May 22, “The Great American Read” will engage audiences with a list of 100 diverse books, encouraging audiences to read the books, vote from the list of 100 and share their personal connections to the titles.

The two-hour launch episode will kick off a summer of reading and voting. In fall 2018, seven new episodes will air, featuring appearances by celebrities, athletes, experts, authors and everyday Americans advocating for their favorite book, culminating with a finale that reveals America’s best-loved novel as chosen by the American public.

For more information, call the library at 667-6363.

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